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Judge says felony crimes way up in Branch County, heroin use also on the rise

COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Felony crimes are way up this year in Branch County, one reason the County Jail continues to be overcrowded and District Court Judge Brent Weigle says heroin use is also on the rise locally. Judge Weigle shed light on the situation when he delivered his annual report yesterday afternoon to Branch County Commissioners. Weigle said the caseload in general in his court is much higher and in his words, “felonies are through the roof” and by the end of 2013 will probably double compared to last year.

And while methamphetamine remains a major concern, Weigle shifted the focus to another illegal drug. Weigle reminded Commissioners that heroin kills and reported that it’s making its way into the County from Battle Creek and other places as well. He said it seems like people don’t care or worry about their health and the effects the drug has on them. According to Weigle, a lot of young people are using heroin, especially young women.